The Return of the Squash Bug! (Cue Horror Film Music)

Here in Central Indiana, there is one thing that is a near-certainty for every garden: the inevitable infestation of the squash bug. Each year it never fails: your summer squash plants are gigantic and producing like crazy. And then one day, you might notice a handful bugs. The next: a few more.

The next day? Your once-beautiful squash plant is crawling with bugs, and the entire plant has died, apparently overnight. Not only can they do a crazy amount of damage to squash plants, but they can also attack other cucurbit varieties (cucumbers, melons, and pumpkins).

 

Photos courtesy of University of Minnesota Extension

So what can you do about these evil little jerks? We decided to take a very scientific survey* to find out what area organic farmers and gardeners do to beat squash bugs into submission. Since this issue will likely befall your garden at some point, we thought we’d share everyone’s feedback here for future reference. Enjoy, and may your squash plants live long and prosper!

Tips for maintaining your squash plants – and sanity – against squash bugs, straight from Central Indiana farmers and gardeners:

  • “So far its daily physical intervention, inspecting leaves, removing eggs, and adults, and treating with Diatomaceous earth around base of plants where they hide. Dr. Bronner’s castile soap with peppermint will work mixed with water and sprayed directly on insects. You can also use floating row covers early in season (you will have to pollinate yourself).”
  • “I pull all leaves with eggs or midges on them and throw them in the trash. The chickens seem uninterested. I second, or third, the drowning them in soapy water method. Hand picking seems the best way.”
  • “I recently purchased a book called “The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Gardener.” The author, Tammi Hartung, is great and one of the ways she suggests repelling squash bugs is to sprinkle black pepper around the plants. I haven’t done this yet but did spray the plant with neem oil mixed with dish soap. That has helped.”
  • “I have a spray bottle filled with soapy water and cayenne pepper and spray the leaves. So far it’s kept them off this year. If I find one I just squish it. Same with the eggs.”
  • “Transplant as early as possible is my tip. Squash bugs are inevitable.”

Have you had issues with squash bugs? What’s your favorite method of saving your plants?

 

*”Very scientific” means we asked our Facebook friends – but, hey, many of them are organic farmers and gardeners with extensive firsthand squash beetle experience.

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First Ever “Yoga in the Garden” By-Donation Class: This Tues., 7/25!

We cannot wait for John-Payton Rowley from yogaindy.com to lead our very first by-donation yoga class at the garden this coming Tues., 7/25 from 6-7pm!

As John-Payton explains, yoga is a way to merge mind body and soul into all aspects of being, in everything we do. We focus on meeting your personal goals through yoga practices – whether it be enhancing body-image, creating healthier eating patterns, gaining newer levels of physical and mental strength, weight-loss, rehabilitating injuries, creating healthier family space, relieving depression and anxiety, getting past fears, or gaining relaxation and stress relief.

We can feel the good vibes already. Set your intention right now to join us. RSVP at our Facebook page – or just show up!

Bring your yoga mat (if you have one – a limited number of extras will be available) and water bottle, and wear comfortable clothes that let you move. A portion of donations will go to garden operations and building. Pay what you are able!

WHEN: Tues., July 25, 6-7pm
WHERE: Keystone-Monon Community Garden at Arsenal Park, 1400 E. 46th St., Indianapolis IN 46205
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: John-Payton Rowley is a Certified Yoga Teacher, Personal Trainer, Athletic Trainer, Mentor, and Youth Development Coach. He started his career at the YMCA working with the youth leadership program. He received his teacher training through CITYOGA School of Yoga and Health which changed his life and gave him an invaluable deeper understanding and connection to the earth, our environment, and how we grow our food. He has a powerful intention to connect yoga and community gardens and to showcase the love and understanding of our community on a deep level. He is the resident yoga teacher at SoBeFit in South Broad Ripple and manifests human transformation, mind, body, and spirit.


“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.” — May Sarton

Tickets Now Available and Going Fast! You’re Invited to Our First Neighborhood Garden Tour, 8/20/17

We are THRILLED to invite you to Keystone-Monon’s FIRST neighborhood garden tour! “Keystone-Monon Grows” will be part neighborhood garden tour, part community gathering, part garden fundraiser, and ALL fun. TICKETS ARE LIMITED, SO ACT FAST!
 
WHEN: Sun., August 20 from 2-5pm
WHAT: The event will feature a bicycle tour (automobiles also allowed) of several home gardens in the Keystone-Monon neighborhood, an insider’s look at our new community garden at Arsenal Park, and a tour of the gorgeous demonstration gardens at the IN State Fairgrounds. The tour will end with FREE admission to the last day of the IN State Fair, thanks to our presenting sponsor, the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Event Center.
 
PURCHASE TICKETS TODAY! Tickets are limited, and we only have 23 adult tickets left! Don’t miss out: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/keystone-monon-grows-neighborhood-garden-tour-tickets-35711710688

ADULTS (16+): $10
KIDS 8-15: $5
KIDS 7 and under: FREE

Can’t attend but want to serve as a founding supporter? Donate today: https://www.generosity.com/community-fundraising/keystone-monon-garden-tour-founding-sponsors-2017

 
We can’t wait to see you!
All the best,
The Keystone-Monon Community Garden coalition
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Get to Know an Urban Garden Near You!

This map just amazes us! Urban gardens have taken over Indianapolis, and it’s so wonderful to see that so many value the community and individual benefits of community gardens and urban farming.

P.S. Check out lucky number 87 – the Keystone-Monon Community Garden!

Download a PDF version of the 2016 Community and Urban Gardens Map, Indianapolis.

Urban Garden map, 2016 11 x17

Love Community and Urban Agriculture? Consider Supporting Our FIRST Neighborhood Garden Tour!

The Keystone-Monon Community Garden is getting SUPER excited as we organize our first ever neighborhood garden tour on August 20! Tickets will be available in early July for the bike tour, and we are working now to garner individual and business sponsorships and support.

We invite YOU – yes, you! – to become one of our founding sponsors! If you support community and making urban agriculture a thing that every city resident experiences as a normal part of their day, we would love for you to donate. Even $5 makes a big difference for a community- and volunteer-driven project like our own!

Visit our online fundraising page today to show your support, or contact us at KMCommunityGarden@gmail.com if you would like to sponsor a specific garden tour item, like one of our tour stops! 

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Today’s the Day! Visit Indy Urban Flea and Centerpoint Brewing and Help Us Give Thanks

Each month, a really cool thing happens in downtown Indy at the Circle City Industrial Complex: an urban flea market where you’ll find new-to-you treasures of all kinds, locally grown veggies and roasted coffee, and a hopping fun brewery right next door. I’m talking about Indy Urban Flea, which is not only a really cool monthly event but also a tremendous community partner and supporter.

In April, Indy Urban Flea and Centerpoint Brewing selected the garden to be its featured community partner! Thanks to this support, we raised $327 from our seedling sale and onsite donations at Indy Urban Flea and an additional $274 from Centerpoint Brewing, which donated $1 for every pint sold to the garden (and it happened to be a gorgeous, sunny day).

That’s a grand total of $601 raised!

What does that mean for a community garden that’s entirely volunteer- and donation-driven? So, so much. We stretch every dollar, and we were blown away by our community’s response and generosity. Not only can we now cover the not-so-sexy, yet totally necessary cost of our public liability insurance next year, but we also look forward to building some new communal garden beds, like a strawberry patch for all our gardeners and neighbors to enjoy!

So what are you waiting for? Get yourself down to Indy Urban Flea today, rain or shine, and enjoy a pint from the fine folks at Centerpoint Brewing:

  • Indy Urban Flea
  • Saturday, 5/20/17, 10am-4pm
  • Circle City Industrial Complex, 1225 Brookside Ave, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202
  • May’s featured organization: The Village of Merici who provides residential supported living and community integration services to individuals with developmental disabilities.

Calling All Home Gardeners: Apply Today for Our First Neighborhood Garden Tour!

Calling all home gardeners: would you like to be featured in our first neighborhood garden tour? We need you – contact us at kmcommunitygarden@gmail.com today!

On August 20 from 2-5pm, the Keystone-Monon Community Garden will host a garden tour highlighting some of the amazing, quirky, fun, and productive home gardens we have right here in our neighborhood!

Keystone-Monon Grows will be part neighborhood garden tour, part community gathering, part garden fundraiser, and ALL fun. The event will feature a bicycle tour (automobiles also allowed) of 5-6 different home gardens in the Keystone-Monon neighborhood, a tour of the community garden at Arsenal Park with gardeners on hand to answer questions, and a closing community gathering at the Arsenal Park picnic shelter.

DETAILS: Please consider applying to be one of the main stops on the first of what what we hope will become a beloved annual garden tour.

Date and Time: Sunday, August 20, 2-5pm
Garden Location: All types of gardens are welcomed! Gardens must fall within the Keystone-Monon boundaries – 54th St. to the north, Keystone Ave. to the east, 38th St. and Fall Creek to the south, and the Monon Trail to the west.
Commitment: Each garden stop will feature a brief tour for attendees, including Q&A with the homeowner/gardener. This should be a fun conversation, all about your garden! All gardens should submit 3-5 photos and a brief bio about themselves and their gardens for use on our website and marketing materials.

To Apply: Send a brief statement of interest/email, your address, and 3-5 pictures of your garden space to kmcommunitygarden@gmail.com. We are looking for all types of gardens and all levels – our goal is to show anyone that a home garden is within their reach!

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